[Ads-l] "be-" [Was: Urban legend? Or fact?]

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Thu Oct 6 14:27:41 EDT 2016


be-loved
be-spoke
be-holden

All intensifiers, I think.  And many others, most of which I would not utter, seen in the OED's definition of "be-, prefix,"esp. second paragraph.   Excerpt:

"In such as be-daub, be-spatter, be-stir, be-strew, the notion of ‘all about, all round, over,’ or ‘throughout,’ naturally intensifies the sense of the verb; whence, be- comes to be more or less a simple intensive, as in be-muddle, be-crowd, be-grudge, be-break,"

Joel

      From: Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Thursday, October 6, 2016 1:47 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] Urban legend? Or fact?
   
On Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 11:42 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

...


What is the difference between

"X is widely _beloved_ by all"

- regardless of the number of syllables in _beloved_ -

 and

"X is widely _loved_ by all"?

I've long wondered what the answer may be. Does prefixing _be-_ affect the
meaning of _loved_, in some way, in this environment, or is it merely a
pseudo-rhetorical flourish whose function is to fancy up an-otherwise-banal
_loved_ by giving it a for-the-hell-it extra syllable?


-- 
-Wilson

   

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